Defining a Ship: Architecture, Function, and Human Space

Patrice Pomey

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195375176
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Defining a Ship: Architecture, Function, and Human Space

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  • Archaeology
  • Industrial Archaeology



This article is an introduction to the concept of maritime archaeology. In the field of archaeology, the study of a shipwreck endeavors to reconstitute the original ship. Thus, nautical archaeology belongs to the larger domain of maritime archaeology. The study of shipboard artifacts and cargo comes before a structural analysis is possible. Therefore, one must know how to anticipate the expected results in order to take into consideration the ensemble of data. A ship is an assembly of elements closely linked together, which express their true role in their relation to the whole. This article explains the conception phase. Several operations are necessary to achieve construction of a ship. The conception phase must then lead to a realization phase. The realization phase must materialize, with the help of diverse processes or methods, the construction principles chosen for the structural and shape concept of the ship.

Keywords: maritime archaeology; nautical archaeology; ship; conception phase; realization phase; construction principles

Article.  9019 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Industrial Archaeology

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